I’ve been hunting high and low for this photograph for simply ages. Although the original was a print made from 35mm film, I knew I’d scanned it but it didn’t seem to be on any of the folders on my computer. And then early this morning I got a flash of inspiration, checked a different folder, and there it was!
This was taken in the mid 1980s inside the Palm House in Sefton Park, a wonderful green open space in the middle of Liverpool. I used the park extensively as a setting for my short story Lonely Sky, which eventually became vampire romance Echoes of Blood, mostly because of the Palm House and the many intriguing statues dotted around both inside and out. (There’s a copy of the famous Peter Pan statue, the original of which stands in Hyde Park, for instance. I used that in Lonely Sky, where all the little animals came to life, but couldn’t see how to translate that successfully into the updated book.)
These days on a digital camera you’d be able to take shot after shot, changing the focus and the angle. Back then I couldn’t afford to waste that much film (not to mention the processing costs), so this one shot is all I got. It’s a bit fuzzy and the statue itself is out of focus, but I’ve always liked the way it caught the light filtering down through the tropical plants and palms. So much so that this exact statue even turns up in the book!
In spite of the heat Daniel shivered and hugged himself.
‘Second thoughts, my boy?’
‘I… no, not really. It’s just…’ Just what? He wasn’t sure. Didn’t know what was coming, knew only that he wasn’t coming out of it unchanged. He shivered again. ‘Never mind.’ They pushed through the leaves, past a twinkling fountain and a statue of a goat, to a small bower beneath the central palm. The others must have gone ahead, although he hadn’t been aware of it. They waited in a group, all three of them.
If you like the sound of that and want to know how the Palm House fits in with the rest of the book, then why not treat yourself to a copy on Kindle, or free on Kindle Unlimited?